Sure, you have a blog and you throw up some content every once and a while, but have you ever given much thought to your voice in your content?
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If you're a normal Joe running a business on a budget, you don't have the cash for a big fancy agency to spend months developing your brand voice.
Which means you won’t have one of those lengthy tone of voice guides for all your people to refer to that’s full of quirky sayings and flashy graphics.
But all is not lost.
You can still develop a style that’s as individual as you are.
Let me go back a step for a moment and talk about why your brand voice is so important.
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Brand Voice: Why do you Need It?
Regardless of your industry, there are going to be a lot of other companies out there doing the same or similar things to you. You might offer one or two things that are a bit different, but on the whole there’s not a lot in it.
So how do you differentiate yourself from everyone else?
The simple answer is the way you write.
Your website copy (and all your other marketing materials) says a lot about you.
The words and phrases you use convey your personality. They will indicate whether you’re a progressive company, one that’s approachable or one that likes to do things a bit differently. It will show the reader whether they are the centre of your universe, or whether you prefer to talk about yourself.
It’s like when you meet someone face to face. Your stance, greeting, and way of speaking all paints a picture about whether you are the person they want to do business with or not.
In other words, the way you talk is what will make you stand out from your competitors.
Why use the word ‘talk’ rather than ‘write’?
Because the most effective content is that which is conversational in style.
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Finding your Voice
If you start with your website copy the chances are you’ll fall into the same trap as your competitors; you’ll start writing stilted, corporate, jargon-filled drivel that will alienate your readers faster than a fast thing.
That’s why you need to blog because it gets you out of that mind-set by writing about something you have a real passion for.
Because you’re not selling, you write from the heart about something that you know really well.
It’s like writing those “what I did on my holidays" essays you had to do on the first day of term after the summer break. You sat down, pencil in hand, and wrote an account of what you did as the six weeks unfolded in your head.
When you write your blogs like that, you’ll hear your personality in every word. It’s not an easy thing to do because you’ll have to cast aside many years of academic writing, but with persistence you’ll get there.
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Your Voice is Important
Does it really make a lot of difference?
Yes it does.
For a start your writing will sound as though a real person wrote it.
It won’t be full of generic marketing-speak that means absolutely nothing.
It will be empathetic and not overtly salesy, instilling confidence in the reader that you’re not just out for their money.
Finding your true voice will strengthen your business and stand you apart from everyone else. That will mean your content will be markedly different from your competitors, but that’s a good thing. After all, if someone has read five websites that say all the same stuff, and then come across yours that is different, which one do you think they’re going to call?
In a crowded marketplace different is worth its weight in gold.
About the Author: Sally Ormond is a copywriter based in the UK. Through her business, Briar Copywriting Ltd, she works with a broad range of clients around the world, from SMEs to blue chip companies, creating eye-catching, compelling copy, which boosts their sales and market visibility.